St. Anthony's Cemetery
St. Anthony’s Cemetery was established in 1890, with the purchase of approximately 4.2 acres of land located between McEvoy St. and MacLaren Avenue in Devon and between St. Mary’s Anglican and Sunnybank Cemeteries.
The Cemetery serves the parishes of Our Lady of Peace and Our Lady of Fatima, and is managed by a committee of volunteers which reports to Our Lady of Peace Pastoral Council. The committee is responsible for the sale of burial plots, and maintains the cemetery property on a continuous basis, straightening and/or raising headstones, and filling and seeding cavitations as required.
The entire cemetery has been grid-mapped, using surveyor pins, and each individual plot is identified by a number. Accurate records are maintained to identify the specific location of each burial. A perpetual care fund has been established to support the on-going maintenance of the cemetery.
Specific information, including cost and availability of burial plots and columbarium space, can be obtained by contacting a committee member through Our Lady of Peace Parish office at 444-6010.
With great labour and dignity, Caretaker, Henry Belliveau and the men of the Cemetery Group care for the graves and grounds of St. Anthony’s Cemetery located with entrances off of MacLaren Avenue and McEvoy Street in Devon. Father Kiernan arranged the purchase of the originally 2.5 acres of farm land on Sept 29, 1890 from local farmer, Henry Gill for $157.50
Caretaker, Henry Belliveau can be contacted by calling 472-2637 to schedule meeting at the Cemetery to select and purchase an eight foot grave plot and have it registered with the parish. Henry occasionally uses his dowsing rod (or diving rod) to detect any graves in the unmarked, older section of the Cemetery by holding the bent wire rods, one in each hand parallel to the ground. The wire rods will turn out when he comes to a grave and when passing over it, the wire rods cross when he reaches the center of the grave. This is a very old method of detecting whether there is a grave at a certain location in the cemetery.
Modern technology of an excavator is used to dig the grave of approximately seven feet by three feet for a full body burial, where the rough box liner is lowered into the approximate five foot deep hole that awaits the arrival of the casket with the remains. With the changing times, the groundskeepers are seeing an increasing number of cremation burials, so that now fifty per cent of all burials are cremations. Our groundskeepers do manual digging for cremation burials. The grave is approximately two feet down and a hole size of fourteen inches by fourteen inches square is dug for the urn containing the ashes to be buried.
The cemetery has an on-site vault with winter capacity of holding nine full body caskets which will await springtime burial. To allow for ease of lawn and ground care, loved ones are asked not to plant trees or place solar lights on the graves. The groundskeepers also ready the plots for the patio stone base, when a headstone has been purchased and is being erected. Around the third week of May a request for volunteers to help with the annual springtime cleanup is sent out. Once the frost is out of the ground and the grounds are dry burials can be arranged between the funeral home and the parish priest.
Local historian, Bob McNeil, has compiled a list of all those buried in St. Anthony’s Cemetery, Devon and caretaker, Henry Belliveau, has a cross reference book of the plot number and who is buried there.